THIS WEEK”S SUMMARY
38 PERCENT OF JAMAICANS SUPPORT BOYCOTT OF GOODS FROM T&T—01/11/14
According to a new survey ordered by the Jamaica National Building Society, 38 percent of Jamaicans support a call to boycott goods from Trinidad and Tobago in response to that nation’s decision to refuse entry to 13 Jamaicans in 2013. In November 2012, it seemed a majority of Jamaicans supported the boycott of products like peanuts, juices, biscuits, and other T&T products.
POLL FINDS MOST JAMAICAN UNAWARE OF CARICOM FUNCTIONS—01/12/14
A national poll conducted by Bill Johnson Survey Ltd. for the Jamaica National Building Society in December 2013 found that 50 percent of Jamaicans do not understand what CARICOM’s role is and what the agency is supposed to do. Twenty-six percent said that Caribbean countries and Caribbean unity were the first things they thought of when hearing the word “CARICOM.”
PRIME MINISTER SAYS TOURISM INDUSTRY MUST CHANGE ITS FOCUS—01/13/14
According to Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, the tourism industry in the Caribbean must change its perspective on competition, which she called “narrow and clouded.” The Prime Minister is a former tourism minister herself and made her remarks at the Caribbean Travel Marketplace conference. She says the region’s tourism industry should not be afraid of competition, but should strive to be innovative and support sustainability concepts.
UDC TO SELL STATE-OWNED PROPERTIES—01/14/14
The Urban Development Corporation (UDC) is prepared to sell a number of public properties in St. Catherine and the Corporate Area. According to K.D. Knight, chairman of the UDC, six government properties will be sold, including five located in downtown Kingston. These include the Machado building, Oceana Hotel, JAMINTEL, Victoria Pier, and an idle plot of land. The Forum Hotel in St. Catherine will also be sold. The sales will add hundreds of millions of dollars to government coffers. The Machado property alone will be sold for $104.5 million.
TAX ADMINISTRATION SETS DATE FOR REQUIRED INFORMATION DISCLOSURES—01/15/14
Tax authorities in Jamaica may request third-party information from businesses and government ministries and agencies under the Amendments to the Revenue Administration Act of 2013. Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) plans to phase in the policy beginning with the coming fiscal year. Businesses in some sectors will be required to submit information about suppliers, independent contracts, and customer as of April 2014.
TOURISM GROUP SAYS CARIBBEAN MARKETPLACE EVENT SUCCESSFUL—01/16/14
Evelyn Smith, the president of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), said Jamaica was marketed successfully to the travel trade during the 2013 Caribbean Travel Marketplace trade show. Tour operators reported doing a good business, and the organization is waiting for additional reports from its members about how their businesses are doing in the coming months.
HOLNESS DISTANCES HIMSELF FROM COMMENTS MADE BY WARMINGTON—01/17/14
Andrew Holness, the leader of the Jamaica Labor Party (JLP), is distancing himself from remarks made by Everald Warmington, Member of Parliament for Southwest St. Catherine. At a conference in Spanish Town, Warmington said that individuals who do not vote “do not count” and should not expect to receive benefits from his office. Holness called these comments “regrettable” and said they do not reflect the position of the JLP.
CONSUMER ELECTRONICS ITEMS VALUED AT $1.5 MILLION STOLEN—01/17/14
According to Cross Roads Police, a number of consumer electronics devices were taken from a business in Kingston. The devices included laptops, televisions, cell phones, table computers, and computer keyboards. The total theft was estimated at $1.5 million. Police are asking the public to watch for anyone trying to sell these items and warning them not to buy items they suspect may be stolen.
JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
SCHEDULED DEPORTATION OF JAMAICAN FROM UK SUBJECT OF PROTEST—01/11/14
Orashia Edwards, 32, believes he will become a target of homophobic attacks if he is deported from Leeds in the United Kingdom to his home in Jamaica. A petition written in favor of his remaining in the UK includes over 300 signatures. The flight that was to take him to Jamaica was cancelled following protests in Leeds, but his supporters continue to fight for him to receive permanent residency in the UK.
JAMAICAN BROADCASTER CLAIMS HARASSMENT BY T&T OFFICIALS—01/13/14
Christopher “Johnny” Daley, Jamaican broadcaster, says he was mistreated by immigrations and customs officials in Trinidad and Tobago when he arrived at the airport. He reported his anger at his treatment on Facebook, saying he was treated as a criminal but had broken no immigration laws or had carried any banned substance. Trinidad and Tobago officials say they do not single out Jamaicans for bad treatment upon arrival at the airport.
JAMAICAN REPRESENTATIVE AT U.N. VISITS WATCHUNG HILLS SCHOOL—01/14/14
In the past, World Culture class students from Watchung Hills Regional High School would visit United Nations headquarters in New York City. When security issues ended this visits, a member of the UN, Jamaica’s Shorma-Kay Richards, a diplomat with 20 years in the Jamaican Foreign Service and representative to the UN, came to the school to speak to over 200 world cultures students and its Model UN Club.
FOMER MINISTER CONVICTED OF RAPE IN U.S.—01/16/14
Michael Clare, a former pastor from Jamaica, pleaded guilty to the rape of two teenage girls in New York and was sentenced to five years in prison. He will be required to register as a sex offender and faces deportation as well. Clare was pastor at the Harvest Worship Center International in the Bronx, New York. He was convicted of raping two girls, 13 and 14 years of age, who were members of his congregation.
CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
HAITIAN PRIME MINISTER NOTES PROGRESS FOUR YEARS AFTER EARTHQUAKE—01/11/14
CARIBBEAN NATIONS UNLIKELY TO RECEIVE SLAVE-TRADE REPARATIONS—01/12/14
JAMAICAN FIRM OPENS FIRST CALL CENTER IN GRAND BAHAMA—01/13/14
HUNTING BAN IN TRINIDAD ANGERS HUNTERS—01/14/14
CARPHA TAKE OFFENSIVE AGAINST CHIKUNGUNYA FEVER—01/15/14
CHRISTMAS EVE STORM DAMAGE UNDER ANALYSIS BY OAS—01/16/14
BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
MORE THAN 3,000 JAMAICANS TAKE LOGISITICS HUB TRAINING—01/11/14
Over 3,000 Jamaicans have taken the three-hour interactive logistics hub training course, which has been named “Logistics 101.” The course was developed by the Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI), the HEART Trust/NTA and several local community colleges and universities. It is designed to give Jamaicans more understanding of the Global Logistics Hub Initiative, which involves global shipping, the logistics industry, and the opportunities these provide.
SELF START FUND WILL LOAN J$100 MILLION IN 2014-2015—01/13/14
The Self Start Fund (SSF) plans to loan over $100 million to micro, small, and midsized enterprises (MSME) in 2014-2015. This is expected to create 1,000 jobs. The SSF was created in 1983 by the government to provide loans to small businesses and individuals who cannot access traditional sources of funding. The interest rate on the loans is 23 percent per year. The loans are available to those in agriculture, trade, services, and manufacturing businesses.
JAMAICAN EXPECTED TO PASS THIRD IMF TEST—01/16/14
According to Brian Wynter, governor of the Bank of Jamaica, the country is on track to pass the third test required under the deal made with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Wynter made his remarks at an economic forum sponsored by the Jamaican Manufacturers Association. He said Jamaica had completed the structural reforms required to date and is likely to meet quantitative requirements as well.
LOCAL MEDICAL FIRM TO ACCEPT BITCOINS—01/17/14
A medical imaging company in Jamaica has decided it will accept the virtual, unregulated currency, bitcoins as payment. Kingston Open MRI began accepting the currency in December 2013 in order to provide a cost-effective way for paying for services and to make additional payment options available to patients. It is especially useful for patients who use foreign remittances to pay for health care because the method eliminates the fees associated with wire transfer fees.
Caribbean Science and Technology News provided by Caribbeantopnews.com
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COMMITTEE OF CARICOM LAUNCHED—01/11/14
NEW APM CHOSEN TO IMPROVE MOBILE APPLICATION PERFORMANCE—01/13/14
TECHNICAL DREDGING STUDIES FOR KINGSTON HARBOR COMPLETED—01/14/14
HD EQUIPMENT DELIVERED TO ICRTV BY EUROCOM BROADCAST—01/15/14
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
HEDLEY JONES PRAISED BY REGGAE ASSOCIATION—01/12/14
Hedley Jones influenced Jamaican music in the role of engineer, musician, and administrator, and now he will be given a lifetime achievement award from the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA). Jones, 96, will receive the honor at an awards ceremony that will be part of Reggae Month activities in February 2013. Hedley Jones has been called “a pillar” of Jamaican music.
NEW ONLINE RADIO STATION TO INFORM YOUNG LISTENERS ABOUT JA CULTURE—01/13/14
Alician Roxborough has started a new online radio station, Tony Culture Time, which is meant to education young people about the rich cultural heritage of Jamaica. Roxborough said that online radio occupies a significant part of the entertainment sector and offers the best way to reach technology-savvy young people. Roxborough hopes that the new station will attract their attention and then immerse them in authentic Jamaican culture.
TESSANNE CHIN WANTS SPACE FOR YOUNG ARTISTES TO BE HEARD—01/16/14
Tessanne Chine, who remembers her own struggles in the music industry before winning the top award on “The Voice,” believes there should be a space created for young artistes and more encouragement given to emerging talents. There need to be more places like “Redbones, Village Café and Weekendz,” she said, which gave her a chance to perform before she had her first successes.
APPLICATIONS FOR RED BULL MUSIC ACADEMY OPEN—01/17/14
The Red Bull Music Academy, which has been in operation for 15 years, has opened applications to music makers in all styles, methods, and experience levels. Those interested should apply by March 18, 2014 for the two-week session that explores music in a life-changing manner. Individuals must be 20 years old by October 12, 2014, to apply.
BOLT WELCOMES HAIR-FOLLICLE TESTS—01/11/14
Usain Bolt, Jamaican sprint champion, says he has no problem with plans of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to conduct hair-follicle tests of athletes in order to stop drug cheats from performing in sports events. Bolt says he favors any way that can be used to crack down on drug use in athletics.
JAMAICA TO FOLLOW CAPTAIN GAYLE IN WEST INDIES SUPER50—01/12/14
Chris Gayle will be the captain of Jamaica’s team in the West Indies NAGICO Super50 tournament in Trinidad and Tobago in January 2014. He was recommended by a national selection panel, and the decision to name him captain was ratified by the Jamaica Cricket Association. Gayle, 34, will replace Tamar Lambert who headed the team in 2013.
ATKINSON ENDORSED BY GRACEKENNEDY MONEY SERVICES—01/14/14
Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson, champion swimmer, is the latest athlete to receive the endorsement of corporate Jamaica. GraceKennedy Money Services (GKMS) announced a one-year deal with the swimmer. According to Mike Fennell, president of the Jamaica Olympic Association, the government and private sector are indebted to Jamaica’s athletes. They require a very small investment, and they provide enormous value to the country and to its economy.
POWELL TESTIFIES HE “FORGOT” THE NAMES OF SUPPLEMENTS HE TOOK—01/15/14
Asafa Powell, Jamaican Olympic champion sprinter, testified to a disciplinary committee that he did not list the supplements he was taking at the time he tested positive for a banned substance in 2012 because he could not remember the names of the supplements. Powell could be banned from sport for two years if he is found guilty of the doping violation. He blames Canadian trainer Chris Xuereb for providing him with the supplements and says he did not know they contained banned substances.
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What Is In Your Bucket?
How many times have you said something to someone and immediately wished you could take it back? Whether it was in the “heat” of the moment, the result of pent-up frustration, or we were just simply having a bad day, I would guess most, if not all of us, have had that experience at least once. Some have called it “a slip of the tongue” but is it really? The more I think about it, I keep coming back to Jesus’ words to the religious rulers of the day: “O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.” (Matt. 12:34-35, KJV).
One of my former pastors used to say that the words we speak are like water in a bucket. When someone bumps our “bucket”, i.e. offends us, whatever is inside will flow out. There is quite a lot of truth in that statement. The condition of our hearts is of such that Jeremiah states it is “deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (17:9). Jesus sheds light on the heart when Mark records Him saying, “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness” (Mark 7:21-22). Unless the love of God fills our heart continuously and without the exercise of much diligence and grace, the things that pour out from it can be very destructive. As we read also in the Proverbs, “grievous words stir up anger” (15:1). On the opposite side, “A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!” (15:23).
I quite like David’s prayer in Psalm 19:14, “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.” Paul beautifully encourages us when he writes, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8). God is so good He even tells us the things we should think / meditate on.
What is in your bucket? Are you words / meditations pleasing to God? As we make David’s prayer our prayer, may we take Paul’s words to heart as well. Today is as good a time as any to start doing so.
The weekly news is compilation of new articles from top Caribbean and Jamaican news sources.